Doctors often write prescriptions for off-label use of drugs. Off-label is the use of a drug for other than its FDA-approved use. According to a national survey of doctors, in 2001, about 150 million of an estimated 725 million prescriptions were for off-label use. According to an analysis of the 2001 survey, about 109 million of those off-label prescriptions lacked solid scientific support. The authors of the analysis considered only controlled clinical trials to be “strong support” for off-label prescriptions. Cardiac drugs had the highest proportion of off-label use. Forty-six percent of cardiac drug prescriptions were for off-label use, and almost half of the off-label prescriptions lacked strong support according to the analysis. For more information go to http://www.medpagetoday.com/tbprint.cfm?tbid=3252 The analysis was published in the May 8, 2006 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
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